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    Original insights never fully present
     
    [ 作者: Stuart Sargent   来自:期刊原文   已阅:3821   时间:2007-1-5   录入:douyuebo
    49tjf49edf:Article:ArticleID


    ·期刊原文
    Original insights never fully present: Chan/Zen/deconstruction
    Stuart Sargent
    The Journal of the American Oriental Society
    Vol.116 No.1 (Jan-March 1996)
    pp.77-84
    COPYRIGHT 1996 American Oriental Society

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Like many readers who will be curious about Bernard Faure's new
                book, I approach it as a person with a basic knowledge of Chan/Zen
                Buddhism but not as a scholar of religion; I come to the book also
                with a specific quest for insights on those who, in literary
                circles, embraced the aim of Chan, in Faure's words, "to mark the
                phenomenal world with the seal of the absolute" believing that "in
                awakening, immanence turns out to be transcendence" (p. 76). That
                "this equation often came at the expense of transcendental values,
                and ... led to legitimating the profane enjoyment of the world of
                passions" (p. 76) I already knew. One way of understanding this
                phenomenon is to associate it with changes in the social background
                of those who participated in Chan through the centuries, notably the
                Ming merchant classes, who supposedly lost the inner scruples
                inculcated by the aristocratic mores of Tang and the
                scholar-official ideals of the Northern Song.(1) But to supplement
                this kind of historical analysis, Faure's book promises a review of
                the problem from the inside, using recent strategies for reading
                texts to analyze the duplicity in the discourse of Chan itself.
                The Rhetoric of Immediacy heroically attempts to encompass the many
                centuries of Chan practice and doctrine in three cultures (a Korean
                voice is heard now and then as we shuttle back and forth between
                China and Japan). Because of the enormity of the task, a frequently
                disjointed style of presentation, and a tendency to eliminate the
                logical or evidential underpinnings to some of the most interesting
                assertions, the non-specialist is likely to be frustrated on his
                first pass-through. Nevertheless, there is much here to be learned.
                The several types of discourse promised in the prologue - "the
                hermeneutical and the rhetorical, the structuralist and the
                historical, the 'theological' and the ideological/cultural" - come
                into play in the first chapter, "The Differential Tradition." Faure
                agrees with those who see the division of early Chan into distinct
                Northern and Southern schools as having been as tactical as it was
                ideological. He further questions the whole notion of a coherent
                tradition that can be termed "early Chan." For one thing, the
                patriarchal tradition envisioned in that notion is logically
                incompatible with an original Buddhist "path" a stage of the
                religion in which individuals may become enlightened and thus
                empower themselves to teach others. At the same time, we need to
                deconstruct the very notion of that earlier stage as embodying a
                "pure" Chan principle that is later "corrupted." Not only are there
                ambiguities and contradictions at every turn: "the 'original'
                insight ... may exist only as a [Derridean] 'trace,' something that
                was never 'present' to a fully awakened consciousness, since there
                is no self that can actually live the experience" (p. 27). This last
                clause combines deconstruction and Chan itself to question not only
                the historical notion of an "originating" teaching, but even the
                ideological construct of an "originating" experience.
           Nowhere is the ambiguity of Chan more apparent than in the
                dichotomy of sudden and gradual enlightenment, the topic of the
                second chapter. Faure cautions that this dichotomy is not
                coterminous with the North-South schism; both Northern and Southern
                schools were "sudden" in seeing enlightenment as imminent and
                immanent and "gradual" in being unable to do away with mediation,
                using "skillful means" or mediate stages of preparation to bring the
                practitioner close to awakening (p. 36). Once again, the
                intersection of theoretical Chan and deconstruction on the question
                of language is brought into play to question the reality of the
                theoretical opposition: "Speaking of the 'sudden' is always gradual;
                even dismissing subitism and gradualism in the name of a higher,
                truer 'subitism' is already derivative and therefore gradual."(2)
                Saying, as Faure does, that any thought in language about
                enlightenment "can only point to an always-receding horizon or
                absolute origin" making it "a vanishing point, an ideal origin - but
                also an ideological construct" (p. 42) brackets (phenomenologically)
                or denies (deconstructively) that enlightenment has taken place.
                A related problem is that "[s]udden awakening cannot be the result
                of an empirical progress. Even when it is preceded by gradual
                practice, it is not as an effect [that] is preceded by its causes,
                for it is one of those states that, in Elster's words, are
                'essentially by-products'" (p. 45).
                Faure at this point suggests in a footnote two extremely seminal
                ideas that should have been explored more fully in his text. Jon
                Elster (reference is to his Sour Grapes: Studies in the Subversion
                of Rationality [Cambridge, 1983]) shows that the very effort
                required to sustain the practice intended to produce the desired
                "by-product" state can block that state from occurring; but Chan,
                according to Faure, "solves the problem by positing that something,
                at the critical point, is taking over and continues to perform" the
                practice. Faure neglects to tell us where in Chan texts this
                solution is proposed and what it is that "takes over." Equally
                tantalizing is the suggestion that the "technology" of Chan must
                include a "sub-technology" that obliterates all memory of the traces
                left by the process. The reader may wonder: if this refers to the
                fact that any by-product is also "preceded by its causes" why in
                this case is it necessary that those causes remain unknown? Is it
                because liberation from the cycle of cause-and-effect must by
                definition not be an effect of a cause? Is it because the sensation
                of awakening is a matter of brain chemistry being altered by
                meditation or other practices, and this is beyond the reach of Chan
                ideology? (Chan discomfiture with hallucinations experienced during
                meditation is mentioned on pp. 105-7; it would have been useful to
                distinguish this more clearly from the Chan rejection of purposeful
                "occultic use of meditation.") Faure's sentence raises a number of
                possible interpretations, but we are given no guidance on which to
                consider.
           A point made several times in this chapter is that "the
                sudden/gradual dichotomy is constantly blurred in the actual
                practice or discourse of Chan monks" (p. 48). More intriguing is the
                assertion that Chan never discusses gradualism "although it remains
                unchallenged in actual practice. The entire Chan tradition seems to
                hinge on this scapegoat mechanism" (p. 49). Perhaps this silence is
                the "sub-technology" of erasure mentioned in the footnote four pages
                earlier?
                Before we can ponder that, we are presented with another interesting
                suggestion: awakening is like death insofar as there is a process
                that must be undergone before it is "absorbed, ratified by the
                collectivity" (p. 49). The comparison implies that the function of
                Chan practice is to affirm publicly an enlightenment that has
                already taken place. This is to put Zongmi's "sudden awakening
                followed by gradual practice" (p. 42; perhaps familiar enough not to
                require citation of a source, for none is given) into a potentially
                useful anthropological frame: a person is "awakened" at some point
                in life but does not experience it as such until the community
                recognizes it. Or perhaps Faure means to allude to the Chan teaching
                that we are originally enlightened. Either way, if we reflect that
                death is like "the 'original' insight ... [that] may exist only as a
                'trace' something that was never 'present' to a fully awakened
                consciousness, since there is no self that can actually live the
                experience" as discussed above, the parallel would be truly
                fascinating. That is, neither death nor total awakening can be
                "lived" yet there are times when their traces must be acknowledged
                in life. Is this the parallel between funerals and gradual
                cultivation in Chan that Faure wants to draw?
                Chapter three, "The Twofold Truth of Immediacy" treats the
                problematic doctrine that "passions are awakening;" to which I
                alluded at the beginning as relevant to a great deal of Chinese
                literature, both lyrical and anecdotal.
                Unfortunately, this chapter is rather intimidating in the early
                pages: on pp. 56-57, in two paragraphs, I count at least fourteen
                ways of approaching the issues raised by the "Two Truths" paradigm.
                The idea that having a distinction between expedient and absolute
                truths preserves the latter as a constant to prevent changes and
                contradictions in conventional truths from bringing down the whole
                enterprise is easy enough to grasp; the idea that any doctrine that
                negates duality is simultaneously acknowledging duality, and the
                psychologically realistic observation that we constantly travel
                between logically incompatible systems in everyday life are also
                readily understood. But Faure also addresses in rapid fire a series
                of comparisons between East and West and between Buddhism and
                Hinduism proposed by scholars and often contradicting each other. He
                should have reassured his readers that this bewildering mix would be
                revisited at greater length in subsequent pages. Brief asides to the
                initiates provide further intimidation or annoyance, depending on
                your state of mind: remember, if you will, that "Derrida has pointed
                out the ideological effects of the attempts to pass immediately
                beyond oppositions (Derrida 1972b: 56)." Period. If you don't
                already know what "the ideological effects" are, you'd better look
                it up.
                There are some things you can look up only with great effort. One
                locus classicus of the idea that "the passions are awakening" could
                be, we are told on p. 60, "Linji's advocacy of the 'true man without
                affairs.' " This caught my eye because "without affairs" looks like
                (we are not given the Chinese) a translation of wushi, a phrase used
                in 1079 by Su Shi as an epithet for his drinking - the drinking one
                does when there is rio business to take care of. I think Su's phrase
                constitutes an allusion to a story in the Shiji that has nothing to
                do with Chan, but it would have been nice to see where Linji
                (presumably Linji Yixuan, although the index entry for him does not
                cite this page) uses the phrase translated; then one could verify
                the wording of the original, figure out if it illuminates Su Shi's
                poems - and then try to puzzle out how it relates to Faure's
                discussion of "innate enlightenment" since the connection is far
                from self-evident.
                It is in this chapter that a problem recently much discussed comes
                up: the presence or absence of a dualistic world-view in China. This
                has implications for literary metaphor as well as the functioning of
                Buddhist symbols imported from India (a culture that presumably lies
                in the dualistic Western sphere). Faure questions the non-duality of
                Chinese thought. He points to the presence of mediative symbols in
                popular religion and to the hostility expressed toward the body in
                Chan/Zen, which seems to indicate a mind-body split (even though
                such a split would contradict professed doctrine). I am willing to
                agree that the East-West dichotomy is fuzzier than some have argued,
                especially since neither sphere is so monolithic as to exclude
                incompatible cosmologies; yet I do not think Faure has seriously
                considered whether mediative devices necessarily imply different
                levels of reality. If we say that a dream (or recollecting a dream)
                mediates between sleep and wakefulness, can we say that sleep and
                wakefulness are therefore universally experienced as two distinct
                states? Is it not possible that to some people the phenomenon of
                dreaming demonstrates the self-evident "fact" that sleep and
                wakefulness are simply two phases of a single experience, and that
                neither is more "real" that the other? Further: does dualism have
                any meaning when you declare both mind and matter unreal? The
                statement that "the return to unity as it is extolled implies a
                previous departure, or even irremediably produces it" (p. 77) is
                problematic. It seems logical, but do the unity and the alleged
                departure from it have the same meaning as they have in the West?
                Nondualism is not to be written off so easily.
                It also worries me that Faure slips increasingly across the sea to
                Japan and Zen aesthetics for examples of "secondary nature" (p. 78)
                to bolster his argument. He clearly thinks that the Japanese and
                Chinese world-views were enough alike to allow him to assert that
                symbols in Chan and Zen have the same significance, so much so that
                Japanese variations on and additions to continental cultural imports
                can be said to speak for Chinese Chan. To be sure, at some level we
                must recognize that Chan/Zen is a powerful international ideology;
                but when something so subtle as the presence or absence of a
                dualistic world-view is at issue, I would welcome evidence that the
                vast linguistic and cultural differences between China and Japan
                have been controlled in Faure's argument.
                "Chan/Zen and Popular Religions," the fourth chapter, first devotes
                several pages to assessing various models of the relationship
                between popular and hegemonic or dominant cultures (the distinction
                between the latter two is deemed significant but never explained; it
                apparently has something to do with the obvious fact that levels of
                culture, because they overlap imperfectly with social classes or
                interest groups, are internally divided; see p. 86). Faure's
                (mercifully) unelaborated reference to "new relationships of power
                within academia" associated with the increased attention being paid
                to popular religion (p. 81), may explain his need to record brief
                positions on so many schema in so few pages.
                Even when we focus on East Asia, methodological considerations
                continue to dominate, and the absence of historical data easily
                leads to obscurity. When Faure proposes, on the one hand, that there
                is both "a popular and an elitist 'anarchism'" and, on the other,
                that "what may strike us at first as subversive, both in Chan and in
                popular religion, may actually turn out to be reinforcing the
                institutional structure" (p. 91), it sounds insightful. But in the
                absence of examples, the point is blurred. "Institutional structure"
                is not even defined; as used here, it probably refers to social and
                governmental institutions, but the subsequent sentences suggest
                instead reference to the structure of the religious institution:
                "popular religion might provide the necessary freedom and alterity
                that allow institutional power to assert itself. ... Chan and other
                institutional religions may need the resistance and subversion of
                popular religion in order to survive" (p. 91). Perhaps Eaure means
                that Chan is an "institutional religion" in the sense of being
                endorsed by the state; indeed, seventy pages earlier he has
                mentioned that Chan's "relationship" with the state is "well
                documented ... from the eighth century onward." But the nature of
                that "relationship" is not detailed in this book. Therefore, when
                Faure, in the last sentence in this chapter, explicitly places Chan
                and "official" religion in opposition, we conclude that it would be
                a mistake to equate "institutional" and "official." It is entirely
                possible to define an "institutional" religion as one possessing
                hierarchies of authority, enjoying temporal continuity, and
                expecting a reliable stream of income from supporters; but then Chan
                and most "popular" religions, which Faure also places in opposition,
                are equally "institutional." Without actual historical examples of
                the various relationships between Chan and the state and Chan and
                other religions, we cannot sort out Faure's distinctions because we
                don't know what his words mean.
                Similarly, it is extremely interesting when he says that Chan/Zen
                incorporates thaumaturgy and the manipulation of relics to gamer
                popular support; but he also states that its survival and power
                depend on struggling against the "subversion" and "alterity" of
                popular religion. Both statements may be true, but in order to make
                sense of the argument we must be told just when Chan's very survival
                or assertion of power (which? and against what forces?) depended on
                adopting and/or overcoming (simultaneously or in different phases of
                the process?) the "subversion" and "alterity" of popular religion.
                Unless one knows to what historical data such sentences apply, they
                lack referential meaning (signs in search of signification, if you
                will). Such is the case with the assertion that "archaic religion
                claimed a perfect adherence to a preexisting superhuman order" (p.
                92). Most of us know a little about Shang divination directed to
                royal ancestors, but Faure's words could be applied to that only
                with considerable elaboration. Without knowing what he identifies as
                "archaic religion" we have no way of judging the truth value of his
                utterance.
                I cannot leave this chapter without quoting its wonderful final
                sentence - wonderful for the way in which alternatives, separated by
                dashes and no less than five little "or" are tossed one by one like
                so many juggler's pins at the hapless reader, until they all come
                crashing to the floor: "Suffice it to say that for the time being,
                rather than an opposition - even if dialectical - or a fusion
                between Chan and local or popular religion, or between Chan and
                official religion, we can observe an intertwining of - or a
                transferential relationship among - antagonistic or analogous
                segments of each of these religious traditions" (p. 95). It is
                fortunate that this sentence's position at the end of the chapter
                allows one to ruminate on it and then take a breather. It begins to
                have the look and feel of a masterful summation. But to really
                understand the elegant distinction between "fusion" on the one hand
                and both "intertwining" and its alternative, a "transferential
                relationship" on the other, does one not need a concrete historical
                detail or two? As metaphorical vehicles (borrowed perhaps from
                botany), these terms possess a certain power, a definite structural
                relationship, but without tenors they finally contribute nothing to
                Faure's story.
           With chapters five and six, "The Thaumaturge and Its Avatars,"
                parts I and II, we begin to encounter fascinating historical
                material. There are minor annoyances, to be sure. A rapid survey of
                the trickster in ancient China on pp. 115-16, including mention of
                "Jieyu, the madman of Zhu" (sic!) takes us up to three poorly linked
                but very suggestive lines of inquiry from Norman Girardot's Myth and
                Meaning in Early Taoism,(3) but just when one is sitting up and
                expecting someone to put it all together, Faure drops the subject
                and shifts abruptly back to Chan. Another frustration: on page 120,
                the "story of Puhua's death" is mentioned as "clearly patterned on
                the Daoist Immortal's 'deliverance from the corpse,' " and again on
                page 185 in connection with predicting one's own death; but since we
                are never told the relevant version of the story of Puhua's death,
                its usefulness in bolstering Faure's points is lost.
                At the bottom of page 123, Faure asks a crucial question: "If folly
                has become a literary pose or a commodity, to what extent is it
                still really subversive? Or to what extent were the Chan trickster
                figures domesticated or emasculated?" Then, "[i]nsofar as nature or
                naturalness has been co-opted by the ruling class, true nature can
                no longer express itself through the paradigm of spontaneity." The
                term "ruling classes" has appeared out of nowhere and is meaningless
                without context. Maddeningly, we don't know what century we are in,
                or even which country: since the following sentence tells us that
                Puhua, the outsider in Tang China, was the inspiration for the Fuke
                school in thirteenth-century Japan, one guesses in desperation that
                the founding of the school represents the institutionalization of
                spontaneity and that the "co-opters" must be Japanese. (But a
                footnote here mentions that Puhua himself was believed to have been
                an army officer. Does that make him a member of the Tang "ruling
                class?" Surely not. Does Faure mean to imply this was a fabrication
                for the benefit of the military rulers of Japan? In a hurry to get
                out of his footnote and into a discussion of "negativity" and
                "reversal of symbols," he deserts us.)
                Faure cautions us that he intends to outline the role of the
                thaumaturgic elements in the acculturation of Chan "only in a
                heuristic fashion, in order to reveal the structural logic of those
                developments rather than their historical occurrence" (p. 100). Yet
                a temporal framework is apparently essential to these two chapters,
                and properly so, since "acculturation" takes place over time and
                only in historical context. Broad historical generalizations such as
                the following are offered and do help us understand the "structural
                logic": "Thus for several centuries, Chan chose the trickster over
                the thaumaturge" as a "strategy . . . for domesticating the occult"
                by making it this-worldly (p. 115).(4)
                The big picture aside, Faure often teases us with hints of a more
                detailed accounting of Chan's relationship with external factors
                waiting to be written, especially regarding developments in the
                eighth and ninth centuries. Context suggests that he thinks it was
                in the eighth century that the denunciation of thaumaturgic "powers
                by Chan masters appears to have been essentially a discursive
                strategy, a political move at a time when Tantrism and Daoism were
                in favor at the court" (p. 109). It is less clear when it was that
                "carnivalization," as realized in Hanshan and Shide, was "certainly
                not what the Chan tradition, trying at the time to establish its
                authority, needed" (p. 117). Because Hanshan's "[t]raditional dates
                range from the end of the sixth to the middle of the ninth century,
                the most common view being that he lived during the early T'ang
                period," and it is only "recent scholarship" that "has tended to put
                him in the late eighth or early ninth century"; and because some
                poems attributed to Shide could be as late as the Song,(5) Faure's
                phrase "at that time" could refer to any period between the late
                sixth and the eleventh centuries. Nowhere in the book does he tell
                us when the two figures were created (one hopes he does not consider
                them historical) as "carnivalizers" both to support and embarrass
                Chan.
                Faure implicitly associates Puhua's domestication of the
                thaumaturgic tradition(6) with "the time when Han Yu criticized the
                emperor for worshipping the Buddha's relic" (p. 121) and states that
                it is significant that in the same period Layman Pang and others
                worked to make Chan "the religion of 'everyday life'" (p. 124). The
                relationship Faure implies between Han Yu and these trends in Chan
                would be a most interesting topic to explore at greater length. A
                later historical topic, one within Chan itself, is the Song advocacy
                of "the superiority of the formless" and the crazy monk ideal as an
                inversion of the contemporary "formalization and ritualization of
                Chan practice" (p. 124). And most tantalizing is this suggestive
                comment dropped in at the very end of chapter six with no
                elaboration: "the trickster . . . ideal can be seen as . . . an
                attempt to accommodate Chan ideology to the social changes that
                marked the Tang/Song transition." Only much later, on page 314, does
                Faure hint that the social changes he has in mind for that hundred
                or so years have to do with "imperial centralization under the Tang
                and the monetarization of the economy during the Sung," which he
                associates with the increasing role of "mediation." More work is
                needed to develop and support this notion (especially since
                "centralization under the Tang" is cruelly oxymoronic for mid- and
                late-Tang).
              Chapters seven and eight, "Metamorphoses of the Double, I:
                Relics" and "II: 'Sublime Corpses' and Icons," challenge us to look
                even further beyond the familiar ideology of "wordless transmission"
                to the enshrined detritus of the transmitters. "Relics" include both
                crystalline fragments left after the cremation of a master's body
                and all other remains or articles associated with his person - even
                his writings. It is startling to learn that Qisong, the Song figure
                who labored to establish the translatability of Buddhism into
                Confucianism, ultimately found Buddhism superior because of relics
                (p. 139; mere thaumaturgy was not unique to Buddhism and should be
                discounted; see n. 27).
                Chapter eight's material on mummified monks was interesting to me as
                someone who encounters these "icons" from time to time in poetry,
                whether as background (e.g., Su Shi's poem at the pagoda of Sengqie
                in Sizhou(7)) or as occasion (e.g., Yu Ji's poem for the temple that
                enshrined the lacquered corpse of the Tang Chan Master Purun(8)).
                One of the most crucial points in this chapter is the status of
                highly realistic sculptures (especially in Japan) as "substitute
                bodies . . . pointing to no reality beyond themselves" (p. 170).
                Despite similar claims Faure makes regarding the patriarch's robe as
                the embodiment of the dharma (p. 166), the mortuary portrait as a
                double (p. 175), and even the patriarch as an icon, a double, of the
                Buddha (p. 178), I feel these assertions are never adequately
                substantiated. The manner in which the arhat Pindola is
                "consecrated" as the image of the Buddha by King Asoka may be
                important evidence for the presence of the sacred in the immediate
                object of devotion, but this story is relegated to a footnote (p.
                177, n. 59) and comes from a different culture. Faure himself lets
                slip that "Chan discourse . . . fluctuated between metaphor and
                metonymy, transcendence and immanence" (p. 170), and I suspect that
                the status of mummies and sculptures is similarly difficult to pin
                down.
                Chapter nine, "The Ritualization of Death," centers on the
                contradiction between the funerary ritualism that became
                increasingly important in Zen from the fourteenth century on and
                Chan/Zen subitism and traditional attitudes toward death (p. 179).
                Several interesting phenomena are introduced, most notably the
                obligations of a Chan master to foretell the time of his death, to
                compose death verses, and to die in the meditation posture. Faure
                makes the valuable observation that death verses soon became
                formulaic, at least by the thirteenth century in Japan. But he ends
                his discussion of the topic by asserting that the "departing verse
                was not simply intended to testify to the master's enlightenment; it
                was producing it and contained, in the litteral [sic] sense, its
                'essence.'" Let us note first that a verbal artifact "contains"
                something only metaphorically, since it has no spatial dimension; to
                refer to the verb's literal sense is to remind us perversely that it
                is not being used literally. But the substantive question here is
                this: on what basis does Faure make these statements? He has just
                cited evidence that in 1295 the death verse was "severely criticized
                for having become a mere show." One could understand how it might
                nevertheless "testify" politically and ideologically to the master's
                enlightenment, but to go beyond that and say that it "produces" and
                contains the essence of his enlightenment is to make extravagant if
                ill-defined claims for the verse that I suspect no one in 1295,
                including the masters who had to write the verses, would have
                accepted.
                The remainder of the chapter considers the various and contradictory
                functions of funerals: to accelerate the transition to death and to
                purify, on the one hand, and, on the other, to prolong the memory
                and significance of the deceased and to establish continuities. Most
                of what is said could apply to the majority of cultures in which
                burial or cremation is practiced; perhaps a separate monograph is
                needed to show how Zen funerals compare with other funerary customs.
                A number of figures - "Schema of the cremation ground" (p. 196);
                "The Four Gates and funerary circumambulation" (p. 199); "Symbolism
                of the Svastika in Soto Zen" (p. 200); and "Symbolism of postmortem
                ordination" (p. 203) - appear in this chapter but are referred to
                only obliquely or not at all in the text. Unsupported by
                explication, most of them are meaningless. This suggests that the
                chapter was put together in haste and edited in the same manner.
           Careless editing may also be the culprit in the apparently random
                placement of note 30 (and note 32 in chapter ten) and also in the
                use of Japanese pronunciations for terms from a Chinese text (p.
                193; cf. the mixed use of Sanskrit and Japanese terms - no Chinese
                terms - in association with Chinese practices and texts, p. 293, n.
                14).
                Chapter ten, "Dream Within a Dream," begins in a refreshingly
                straightforward manner: "Relics and icons reintroduced presence and
                mediation in a world emptied by the Buddhist philosophy of emptiness
                and selflessness. Another aspect of the Buddhist 'metaphysics of
                presence,' and a crucial mode of mediation, is provided by the
                intermediary world of dreams" (p. 209). But dreams are a complex
                topic. Rather late in the chapter, Faure introduces a distinction
                between the hermeneutical and performative models of dreams: the
                former deals with dream interpretation; the latter recognizes that a
                dream may be "transformative" and also modify "social structures."
                This distinction could have been used profitably as a framework to
                give the chapter more shape, since Faure covers both Buddhist
                theories on the question of the reality of dreams (which of course
                entails the unreality of "reality") and the ways in which dreams are
                agents of deepening understanding or legitimization.
                Twice in this chapter Faure makes a puzzling choice not to see in
                cited texts what I would guess to be the doctrine that there is no
                self and therefore no dreamer. On p. 216, where the Damolun states
                that when one awakens according to the Dharma there is nothing
                "[worth calling] awakening," I would suggest that Faure has
                distorted the meaning by adding the words in brackets. On p. 219,
                where Dahui asks, "Who is dreaming?" I think the implied answer is,
                "No one." "Yogacara idealism, which maintains that everything is a
                dream, and only the dreamer is real" (p. 220) is surely irrelevant,
                if not incompatible. Since Faure has stated that there is no self to
                experience enlightenment (p. 27) and later states that there is "no
                'subject' to suffer from" the passions (p. 234), I would ask why
                dreams are not an analogous case.
                Chapter eleven is a "Digression: The Limits of Transgression." It
                covers the problem of the affirmation of desire raised at the
                beginning of this review, and the problem of women as a threat to
                the enlightenment of men. Tales of both heterosexual and homosexual
                transgressions in monastic communities are recounted, but in the end
                the reader does not feel that he shall ever know much about how the
                issue of sexuality was resolved at any particular moment. Criticism
                of moral laxity almost always comes from outside the community,
                especially from those who have a stake in exaggerating the
                transgressions - not only Jesuits but also writers of fiction in
                Ming China and Tokugawa Japan. Valid surveys on sexual practices are
                difficult enough to carry out in our own time; they will never be
                done retrospectively for previous centuries. Moreover, "[u]nlike in
                Christianity, sexuality never really became in Chan/Zen the object
                of an elaborate discourse, despite a relatively similar process of
                individuation, studied in the Western case by Foucault" (p. 257).
                Even if Faure were to expand on his concept of "individuation" (I
                take his reference to the Chart master as the "paradigmatic
                individual" on p. 191 to be a tongue-in-cheek oxymoron) then, we
                shall never understand a discourse on sexuality that did not take
                place.
                "The Return of the Gods," chapter twelve, concerns mainly the place
                of the arhat in Chan/Zen and kami in Zen. A number of explanations
                are offered for different cases: local gods are replaced by the holy
                man, who borrows some of their iconography (p. 265); outlawed
                desires are covertly expressed in the attachment of Hindu themes to
                Buddhist figures (p. 265); arhats were somewhat more controllable
                than Daoist immortals and at the same time "offered a kind of
                transcendence and personal relationship that popular gods" did not
                (p. 266); gods in Zen "demythologize" themselves by accepting
                abstract, philosophical definitions (p. 280); and ritualization
                accomplishes a similar weakening of the gods' individuality (p. 283;
                note that Chan/Zen monks themselves become god-like powers that must
                be tamed through ritual, pp. 281-82).
                The final chapter, "Ritual Antiritualism," puts aside Chan's
                antiritualism to explore the "surplus of meaning" in the rituals
                that became so much a part of Chan. There are many seminal ideas
                here. On p. 296, four suggestive ways of looking at meditation as
                ritual are juxtaposed in one rich paragraph: Chan meditation may be
                a kind of "depossession" that prepares one for possession by an
                "other"; despite that, it is also comparable to possession or to the
                trance; sitting in meditation ritually reenacts the awakening of the
                Buddha (on p. 299, Faure will state that awakening itself is a
                ritual reenactment of it); therefore, it iconizes the "death" that
                transcends time and death. These points deserve greater elaboration;
                one could also argue that "possession" is undesirable in the absence
                of a trustworthy God with whom one hopes to be united.
                Another valuable observation is that "the failure of . . . ritual is
                actually its success, the creation of a discrepancy between the
                ideal and the real (without which both would cease to exist) and the
                making guilty of individuals who fall short of the ideal" (p. 299).
                Total sacralization of life would be the end of life.
                In his "Epilogue," a dense and powerful essay that brings together
                all the themes of the book, Faure stresses that the dichotomies he
                has explored are not found only between Chan and other traditions
                (Buddhist and "popular") but within Chan itself. He argues that the
                two levels of truth or discourse laid out in the preceding pages in
                all their aspects supplement each other, each maintaining itself
                precisely "because of their tensions" (p. 318). Thus, for example,
                Chan attempted to limit and purify to "save the ontological reality"
                but the very "privatization/secularization" that accompanied this
                attempt made ritual, icons, and elaborations necessary in order to
                sustain the tradition.
                It remains to mention errors that may be confusing for some readers.
                There is a tendency for Faure to substitute "z" for "s" in pinyin
                romanizations: "sansheng" becomes "zansheng" (pp. 122 and 329); "Huo
                jushi" ("incinerating laymen") is written huojuzhi on p. 203. Also
                "diyi" and "dier" ("first order" and "second order") are written
                with "da" instead of "di" (p. 18).
                Names and dates sometimes suffer strange fates. Yelu Chucai's name
                is miswritten Yelu Chuzai (p. 27); because his name does not appear
                in the character glossary and Faure misidentifies him as a monk, the
                reader may think "Yelu Chuzai" is someone else, not the famous Yuan
                official and lay Buddhist. Dadian Bastong (p. 146), is an error for
                Dadian Baotong. The character glossary includes only "Dadian,"
                forcing the curious reader to find a good dictionary for the second
                name. Pozao Duo is clearly not "Po the Stove-breaker" (p. 260) but
                "Duo the Stove-breaker." Dates for people are sometimes given more
                than once, which I found helpful. But sometimes dates are withheld
                until late in the book or appear on pages not cited in the index.
                Dahui Zonggao first appears on p. 41, but his dates are given on pp.
                188 and 219. Sengqie's death date can be inferred on p. 153 and is
                stated on p. 158; but his full dates are given only on p. 265. The
                index entry for Sengqie does not cite that page (nor are mentions of
                him on pp. 118 and 150 cited). Wanhui (whose name becomes "Maihui"
                in the character glossary through a transposition of radicals) is
                said on p. 265 (not indexed) to have died in 711 - but we were told
                on p. 150 that he was buried in 709. Another macabre confusion is
                found in n. 14, p. 156: the last example of a mummy being produced
                in China is "recorded in Taiwan in 1976. See Welch 1967." Holmes
                Welch's The Practice of Chinese Buddhism reports only the 1959
                exhumation of a mummy in Taiwan (p. 344); no predictions about
                future mummies are made. I suspect that Faure is keeping his
                reference for the 1976 mummy to himself; "See Welch 1967" means "See
                Welch 1967 for other information on mummies."
                If "On the Leaves" seems an impossible translation for Joyo (p.
                277), your instincts are correct: the correct name is Yojo. The name
                is also backwards in the character glossary.
                The date 625 on p. 166 should be 1625. One of two page citations on
                p. 243 is clearly wrong: p. 433b cannot follow p. 455a in the source
                text.
                It is unfortunate that poor editing, not only for these minor
                details but also for style and organization, detracts from this
                study, for Faure brings enormous erudition and creativity to play
                here. Yet in the end, despite all the frustrations I have expressed
                above, I come away with the sense that the complexity and richness
                of this book reflect more than the bafflements of deconstruction:
                they reflect the reality of Chan/Zen itself, in all its oppositions
                (dialectical or otherwise), fusions, intertwinings, and
                transferential relationships within itself and between it and
                antagonistic or analogous religious traditions. Faure's is an
                essential study.
                1 See part one of Ge Zhaoguang, Chanzong yu Zhongguo wenhua
                (Shanghai: Shanghai Renmin chubanshe, 1991).
                2 Musicians who know the word "subito" may be able to deduce the
                meaning of "subitism." Psychologists who know the new verb
                "subitize" designating a subject's instant apprehension of quantity
                without counting constituent units, are perhaps better prepared to
                comprehend "subitism." Most other Anglo-phone readers will
                extrapolate from context; if they recall the mention on p. 33 of
                "Demieville's translation of the term dun as 'subit' (sudden)" and
                search the OED for English words derived form this Latin root, they
                will find only obsolete or rare words often connoting careless
                haste.
                3 Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1983.
                4 The subsequent rise of the thaumaturge implied here is
                contradicted on p., 117: "the Chan tradition eventually chose the
                trickster against the thaumaturge." I suppose Chan could choose the
                trickster for several centuries, allow the thaumaturges to have
                their way for a while, and then eventually return to the trickster;
                but both the sequence of chapters five and six and much of Faure's
                discussion point to a unidirectional movement away from the relative
                prominence given earlier to the magical powers of Chan masters and
                toward the relative dominance of the trickster image.
                5 E. G. Pulleyblank, "Linguistic Evidence of the Date of Hanshan,"
                in Studies in Chinese Poetry and Poetics, vol. 1, ed. Miao (San
                Francisco: Chinese Materials Center, Inc., 1978), 163 and 175.
                6 If Puhua was an officer in 755 - see p. 124, n. 13 - he must have
                died before the affair of the Buddha bone in 819 and should not be
                directly associated with "mid-Tang Chan." But his acts presumably
                helped shape ninth-century developments.
                7 Translated by Ronald Egan, Word, Image, and Deed in the Life of Su
                Shi (Cambridge: Harvard-Yenching Institute, 1994), 179-80.
                8 Translated by Jonathan Chaves, Columbia Book of Later Chinese
                Poetry (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1986), 41-42.
        

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